What is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)?

You’ve probably heard a psychologist describe their avid use of “CBT” in sessions. CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. It is a form of talk therapy aimed to improve a wide range of mental health concerns. This can be anxiety, depression, and more. 

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CBT is based on the idea of how we think (our cognitive aspects), how we feel (our emotions) and how we act (behave). Putting that trio altogether.

It is actively used in therapy for addiction, phobias, eating disorders, and more. Focusing on changing the automatic, negative thoughts that contribute to a declined mental state. Negative thoughts can worsen already present emotional difficulties and influence our moods.

Through active engagement in CBT, patients can learn to identify patterns of negative or unwanted thoughts. Practice with identification comes to the next step of challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with something positive. 

Learn how to conquer your negative thoughts today. Becoming the boss of your anxiety helps you identify, challenge, and replace thoughts effectively!

Anxiety therapy near Thousand Oaks, Ca, incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy until you have it mastered.

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is much more than just recognizing patterns and challenging your thoughts. It entails a wide range of strategies and techniques to address your thoughts and behaviors. There are numerous ways to administer CBT. This can range from standard psychotherapy to self care materials. 

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) addresses your cognition and behaviors alongside strategies for emotional regulation and mindfulness. This is common for personality disorders. 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) addresses irrational thought patterns or beliefs and provides you tools to challenge them. It has a goal to help clients let go of irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that are causing you distress. 

Multimodal Therapy addresses the idea that your mental health distress comes from several different areas of the body. This includes behaviors, sensations, cognition, substance use consideration, imagery, and more. This form of therapy looks to target all of these areas as if they are intertwined.

Anxiety therapy near Simi Valley, Ca, has therapists trained in providing cognitive behavioral therapy for you or your family.

Impacts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a proven effective method that provides you with real results. The underlying concept of CBT is that thoughts and feelings influence our behavior. If we are constantly scared of something, we will try to avoid it by all means. 

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This could look like committing into a relationship or driving a vehicle. We avoid it because our thoughts tell us it’s bad or will hurt us; therefore our behaviors align with that.

The goal of CBT is that people will understand that they cannot control everything. Life could be so much easier if we could, right? Unfortunately, a lot of what life brings us, we just have to accept. Although we cannot control things, we can control how we interpret them. We can control how we deal with these things in our environment. 

To begin having proper interpretations, we need to understand the negative thoughts first. Becoming aware of the negative or unreasonable thoughts helps us engage in healthier thinking habits.

CBT is usually on a short-term basis where it can be administered for a number of sessions. Therapists are able to identify the negative thought patterns coming up for their clients. From there, they help them establish goals for challenging themselves.

Teen anxiety therapy near Simi Valley, Ca, sets your teen up for success in regulating their behaviors.

Strategies in CBT

We struggle to challenge these negative thoughts and feelings, therefore reinforcing them as true beliefs. These beliefs can play out as problematic behaviors that can influence many areas of our lives. Relationships, whether it’s friends, family, or loved ones. Situations in work where we feel increased stress. Academics could make us feel like a failure or not good enough.

It’s important to begin with identifying these negative thoughts. We must make the connections to how these thoughts are affecting us through our behaviors. This can be difficult for people who struggle with introspection. However with progress, they can eventually develop that insight and self-discovery. 

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It is crucial to start practicing new skills that can then be put in to use in real-world situations. For example, this could look like catching yourself before you act out due to a negative thought. You may have negative thoughts about your significant other cheating on you. However, there is no valid proof or reason to think this. 

By practicing challenging it, you will feel at peace. Otherwise, you would act out with protest behaviors and create an argument.

CBT Therapists near Simi Valley, Ca, provide you with the tools needed to practice your skill sets.

Setting goals for yourself during cognitive behavioral therapy is very important. It can be a big step in the right direction. Goal setting helps you make changes to improve your mental health and recover from it. 

Your therapist will help you establish these goals. You will obtain these skills to identify the exact goal. You may also create short and long term goals for yourself. These goals are aimed to be attainable, relevant, and focus on your process. Being able to measure your goals and make a timeline for them will help you stay on track.

Coping mechanisms such as journaling will help you track your behaviors, symptoms, and experiences. This acts as a record for you to share with your therapist. Journalng will also help you stay on track and understand how you’ve been feeling lately. This is a great way to keep an eye on your mental health to see how you can better improve it.

Challenges in CBT

Although CBT is an effective form of therapy, it can be difficult to get used to. There are some challenges associated with it. In the beginning, it can feel tough and overwhelming. However, practice and use of strategies can help you.

Change can be difficult to install in our lives. It’s not instantaneous or goes over smoothly. We may think that just by identifying our negative thoughts, we got it under control. However, there will always be moments that test our abilities. Therefore, only identifying them does not make it easier to alter them. Changing our thought patterns and behaviors can be trial and error.

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Another thing is that change starts with you. We do not change for anyone but ourselves. Literally, we must be wanting to change. CBT will be ineffective for someone who’s engaging in it for the sake of someone else.

Like all methods of therapy, patients must be willing. They must be ready to put the time and effort into this. It takes a lot to analyze thoughts, feelings, and control how we behave. It may take even more to monitor ourselves. 

In all, it can require a lot of energy. Someone who is not ready to dedicate themselves to the task will not see the full results. Therefore, it’s important to commit to the homework and self-analysis. Do not give up!

There are options to buy self-workbooks for CBT or other forms of it. Those are great options to work on yourself independently. At the end of the day, a therapist’s guidance is best. They are trained in providing this therapy, and will be there with you. You won’t need to go through it alone.

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At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.